Foxx, Wonder among stars honoring Eddie Murphy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- However riotous the Eddie Murphy stories from Arsenio Hall, Tracy Morgan, Adam Sandler and Russell Brand, the highlight of Spike TV's tribute to Murphy was the comedian's duet with Stevie Wonder.

Murphy, 51, joined the subject of one of his most classic impressions for a rousing rendition of Wonder's 1973 "Higher Ground" during the taping of the Spike TV special "Eddie Murphy: One Night Only," which will air Nov. 14.

Jamie Foxx, Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock and Keenan Ivory Wayans also paid tribute to Murphy on Saturday at the Saban Theater.

Murphy beamed throughout the two-hour program.

"I am a very, very bitter man," he said with a beguiling smile. "I don't get touched easily, and I am really touched."

Sandler was still in high school when he first saw "Delirious," which he described as "one of the most legendary standup specials of all time."

"Everybody on the planet wanted to be Eddie," he said. "He funnier than us. He's cooler than any of us."

Samuel L. Jackson said Murphy "changed the course of American film history" by giving Jackson his first speaking role on the big screen, in 1988's "Coming to America."

"He is a true movie star," Jackson continued, lauding Murphy's performance in "48 Hours" and "Beverly Hills Cop."

The program featured clips of Murphy's standup shows, his film appearances in "Shrek" and "Nutty Professor" and his work on "Saturday Night Live."

"I'm just a retired old song and dance man," Murphy said, adding that he only makes rare appearances these days. "That's what you do when you're retired: You come out every now and then and talk about the old days."

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